Timekeepers Club / March 22, 2023

Phillips The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII on 13 & 14 May

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is pleased to unveil highlights ahead of The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII. The sale features some of the rarest and most coveted examples of horology from across the 20th and 21st centuries. On offer are watches that will attract both the budding enthusiast and most seasoned collector, from a variety of price points. Highlights from the sale will tour to the public in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, and London. The preview will open in Geneva on 10 May before the live auction on 13 and 14 May at the Hôtel La Réserve.

Alexandre Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe & Middle East, and Tiffany To, Head of Sale, jointly said, “The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII is probably the most tightly curated auction we have had the pleasure of organising at Phillips. We have selected around 200 watches for their quality, rarity, interest and overall relevance. We have something for every budget, from the budding enthusiast to the most seasoned collector.”

Patek Philippe

The sale presents an exceptional group of watches by Patek Philippe, led by one of the most important and iconic watches of the second half of the 20th century: the perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499, considered by collectors to be a true horological grail.

Phillips has the immense privilege of offering a first series in yellow gold from the family of the original owner (estimate CHF 800,000-1,600,000). Other important timepieces by Patek Philippe include an incredible second series in pink gold, one of only a handful of examples known (estimate CHF 1,500,000-3,000,000). Finally, a third series formerly belonging to Mel Blanc, the world-renowned voice actor best known for his work with Loony Tunes as the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (estimate CHF 350,000-500,000).

Another impressive timepiece from Patek Philippe is a possibly unique white gold reference 3448 perpetual calendar, complete with its original certificate of origin (estimate CHF 500,000-1,000,000).

Amongst the selection of modern Patek Philippe timepieces is a superb trio of chiming watches: reference 5016 in pink gold featuring a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and tourbillon (estimate CHF 250,000-500,000); a recently unsealed reference 5074 in platinum featuring a cathedral gong minute repeater with perpetual calendar (estimate CHF 350,000-700,000); and the ultra-elusive reference 5531 in pink gold, a world time minute repeater with polychrome enamel dial depicting the Lake of Geneva, which is singled sealed (estimate CHF 900,000-1,800,000).


Of the superlative selection of Rolex wristwatches is one of the rarest, most coveted, and surprising models made by the Geneva brand: reference 6270, a yellow gold manual Daytona with lavishly set baguette diamonds and pavé dial, with only a handful of these being known (estimate CHF 1,200,000-2,400,000).

Phillips is also proud to offer an extraordinary reference 6541 Milgauss, an absolute time capsule originally made for the scientists at CERN and with original guarantee, hang tag, chronometer certificate and preserved in exceptional condition. This watch is one of, if not the nicest and most complete examples to grace the auction market (estimate CHF 500,000-1,000,000).

Finally, in our vintage Rolex offerings we have a fresh to market reference 6232 two counter chronograph in pink gold offered by the son of the original owner. This is one of Rolex’s most elusive models as only 12 examples are known (estimate CHF 150,000-300,000).

Vacheron Constantin

Phillips is delighted to offer a 222 “Jumbo” in white gold, a previously unknown model that changes scholarship. It is the only example known in white gold, as confirmed by the Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity (estimate CHF 100,000-200,000).

Audemars Piguet

Complicated vintage Audemars Piguet timepieces are amongst the rarest and most coveted vintage pieces and Phillips is pleased to offer an exceptionally well-preserved chronograph with full calendar indications (Photo reference 831) in yellow gold, of which only eight examples are known (estimate CHF 150,000-300,000).

A. Lange & Söhne

A further highlight is one of the rarest and most elusive watches made by the famed A. Lange & Söhne: the platinum Datograph made as a 10-piece limited edition for Milan based retailer Pisa in 2004. This model is the only limited edition Datograph ever made and sits apart from the regular production pieces with its monochrome silver dial (estimate CHF 100,000-200,000).

Independent Watchmaking

For many years, Phillips has been a proponent of independent watchmaking and, once again, will offer a wide selection of rare, hard-to-find creations from some of the greatest artisans of our time.

An exceptional highlight includes the Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie pocket watch N°1. Made for Audemars Piguet in the early 1980s, the historical relevance of this watch cannot be overstated as it is the very first watch ever made by Dufour and signed on the top plate under the dial (estimate CHF 400,000-800,000) . The sale will also feature an iconic Simplicity in a white gold 34 mm case (estimate CHF 250,000-500,000).

Also on offer is an original cult status Observatoire by Kari Voutilainen housing the fabled and fully reworked Peseux 260 caliber (estimate CHF 60,000-120,000).

One of the most elusive watches of the past years will finally make it to the market, the Naissance d’Une Montre 2 (Birth of a Watch 2). Spearheaded by Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey and Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei of Urwerk and undertaken by two young end extremely talented watchmakers. Dominique Buser and Cyrano Devanthey, the Naissance d’Une Montre 2 is a unique white gold wristwatch featuring a constant force regulating system, fully made by hand using traditional techniques. All of the proceeds from the sale of this lot, including the buyer’s premium, will go to Time Aeon Foundation to help preserve and pass on the art of traditional watchmaking to the next generation of watchmakers (estimate CHF 200,000-400,000).

Others Far too numerous to mention, other relevant and important watches to be offered from prestigious brands include A. Lange & Söhne, Cartier, Gerald Genta, Zenith, Longines and Omega, among others.

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVII

Session I: 13 May 2023, 2pm

Session II: 14 May 2023, 2pm

Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva

Highlight Tour

United States:

New-York: 31 March - 2 April

Location: 432 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022


Hong Kong: 2 - 5 April

Location: G/F, WKCDA Tower, West Kowloon Cultural District, No. 8 Austin Road West, Kowloon

Taipei: 13 - 15 April

Location: 12F., Unit B, No.89, Songren Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 110

Singapore: 20-22 April

Location: The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247911


London: 13 - 16 April

Location: 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX

Geneva: 10 - 14 May

Location: Hôtel La Réserve, Bellevue, Geneva

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